Music Industry News Network [11-03-2012]

ALCAM Takes Creators Voice One Notch Lowder

Following the model of ECSA in Europe and PACSA in Africa, the foundation of ALCAM, the representative body for South American music composers and authors, is key to CIAM's global mission of ensuring the creator is placed centre stage of the copyright debate and enhancing the collective management framework.

Sao Paulo, August 25th 2012: the foundation of ALCAM (Alianza Latinoamericana de compositors y autores de musica) to represent the interests of South American music authors and composers, opened a new chapter in the global representation of authors' rights.

Among its principal goals are to protect the cultural and economic value of Latin American music, to represent musical authors in political discussions concerning intellectual property, to help establish better conditions of commercial exchange and to highlight the role of music creators in society especially in regards to moral rights and credits in public communication.

Signed by representatives of nine nations (Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador) the new organisation follows the creation of ECSA for Europe in 2007 and PACSA for Africa in 2010 - independent music creators bodies that can focus on local issues and, eventually, come together around the hub of CIAM, the International Council of Creators of Music.

Evolution not revolution

For Lorenzo Ferreo, the current chair of CIAM, and a key figure in helping facilitate the formation of both PACSA and ALCAM, such developments represent "evolution not revolution" as the creative community responds to the globalised world around it.

"The model of ECSA has worked very well," he says, "and was a good example of how authors could act by themselves and lobby for their rights with the European Commission. Following the birth of PACSA it was at CIAM's 2011 conference, held in Nairobi, that we decided to build an alliance of South American composers. This had an immediate effect with the election of a Brazilian composer to the CIAM Executive Committee. CIAM itself was born as a consultative body of the CISAC Board of Directors," he adds, revealing that 2013's conference will take place in Costa Rica. "We are now in a process where nothing is carved in marble, where we can build these structures and create these alliances. This is not to reduce the traditional role of CIAM it is to improve it and make its mission bigger."

We are working for them

By providing technical support and expertise, the creation of ALCAM is also key to CISAC realising its own global mission to strengthen and develop international networks, to facilitate exchange of information and, most importantly, to put the creator at the heart of political debate.

"At CISAC, we all know how important it is to put the authors in the front seat," says Silvina Munich, CISAC's Director for Repertoire and Creators' Relations. "They are the ones who give legitimacy for what CISAC and authors' societies do we are working for them. It's as simple as that."

While ALCAM joins ECSA and PACSA in supporting the collective management system, Silvina Munich is also keen to stress the autonomy and independence of these organisations. "ALCAM counted on technical support from the CISAC secretariat and the CISAC regional office in Latin America," she adds. "But it's a collective effort. Once ALCAM is established they will grow in their own way."

The ambition from here, of course, is to provide a totally global network extending alliances into both North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

The Voice of Latin American creators

The immediate priority for ALCAM, says President, Alejandro Guarello Finlay, is to finish creation of a fully interactive web resource that will allow creators to share information around everything from scholarships and employment opportunities to legal documentation about author rights.

"From there, our biggest task and challenge is to transform ALCAM into 'The Voice' of Latin American authors and composers, able to defend and promote their rights and to communicate with the private enterprises and public entities of each Latin American Government."


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